The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Lisa Templeton Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.

August 6, 2015


Lisa L. Templeton was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1967. The daughter of a German immigrant father, Templeton grew up amidst Cincinnati's close-knit German community. She also attended Walnut Hills High School, a diverse and award-winning public college preparatory school that attracted students from each area of the city. She then moved on to Ohio State University, where she studied Landscape Architecture and City and Regional Planning. She graduated from Ohio State in 1990.

After living for a period of time in Toronto, where she worked in marketing and fundraising, Templeton came to Corvallis in 1994, making the move to the Pacific Northwest in support of her husband, who was pursuing a doctorate in Geology at Oregon State University. Once arrived, Templeton began working for the OSU Alumni Association as a marketing and membership director, and became heavily involved with the capital campaign to build what would become the CH2M Hill Alumni Center.

In 2000 Templeton accepted a new position within the university, one devoted to marketing and market research for Distance and Continuing Education at OSU. During this period, Templeton also returned to the classroom herself, enrolling in Oregon State's master's degree program in Education with a concentration on the needs of adult learners.

Distance and Continuing Education was renamed OSU Extended Campus in 2002, a time period during which the unit was increasingly oriented toward delivering courses online. As Ecampus continued to evolve, so too did Templeton's position within the unit, her work coming to focus less on marketing and more on developing the funding, curricular and technical infrastructure necessary to support a robust environment for online learners. In 2008 Templeton was named Interim Executive Director of Extended Campus, a position that was made permanent in 2010.

Under Templeton's leadership, OSU Ecampus has emerged as a national leader in online education. In 2015 OSU Ecampus was ranked fifth out of three-hundred online bachelor's degree programs, delivering nineteen undergraduate programs and twenty-two graduate programs to over 4,500 students. Extended Campus also administers the university's summer classes as well as Open Oregon State, an initiative that guides faculty in their creation of open learning modules.